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Letters for Monday, September 21, 2020

Facts, not rumors, please

Rumors are defined as a currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth.

A Sept. 18 letter to the editor suggesting that arsonists should be exposed and placing the blame of fires started in Washington state lacked proof other than the writer’s statement.

By googling the question, you will find more than four reputable news sources that have investigated the claim and found it baseless.

NYT, Politico, USA Today for a few. The letter served to extend the reach of questionable accusations.

Sue Feutz, Kapa‘a

Kupuna unwilling to be victim

The pre-test program is not enough to insure the safety of our island.

The test must take place 72 hours prior to departure. In the three days between the test and departure, anyone could become infected. They could become infected in the airport or on the plane. Temperature scanning is also not reliable. Those newly infected and those who are asymptomatic but carriers do not normally have an elevated temperature. This is also true of some kupuna, even if they are already sick with the virus.

Unless these travelers can be quarantined — perhaps for only seven days instead of 14 — and then have another negative test result, there will still be the possibility of greatly increasing numbers.

I understand how important it is to allow people to come here once again, and for people to go back to work. However, as a kupuna myself, I am not willing to be a victim of insufficient safeguards.

Let O‘ahu be the test case, or Maui or Hawai‘i. Let’s see what their numbers are after two weeks. Our little island is a sanctuary.

Donna Gould Carsten, Kapa‘a

Subliminal messaging could influence election

What about subliminal communication? By definition, subliminal is “below the level of conscious awareness.” Believe it or not, inserting subliminal messages in communications is NOT illegal.

In 1957, a New Jersey theater superimposed the messages “drink Coca-Cola” and “hungry? Eat popcorn” during the showing of a movie. Sales of Coke and popcorn increased by 58%. These subliminal cuts are very influential in changing our decisions and thoughts, unconsciously.

The FCC and the movie industry have agreed that subliminal messaging is an unfair and deceptive trade practice. The movie and advertising industry have “mostly” refrained from the use of this manipulation.

This practice is not specifically illegal, although there have been several attempts at legislation. Subliminal messages are being used to modify behavior to control weight, reduce stress, discourage shoplifting, increase real-estate sales and quit smoking.

Election interference is now the subject of the day. With no specific regulation prohibiting subliminal messaging, it’s curious what FaceBook, Instagram, TikTok and other social media are allowing to enter viewers’ subconscious. This is a question to ask Mark Zuckerberg and every level of elected official.

Imagine what a 58% influence would do to our electoral process. What if your political beliefs were influenced by this sub-conscious insertion? With this powerful tool all sorts of havoc are possible.

The movie industry and Federal Communications Commission have agreed that this insidious influence is immoral and contrary to all fair advertising laws. Criminalizing the practice of uninformed subliminal messaging should be considered, especially with the potential for abuse in our digital world.


Mike Curtis, Koloa
Source: The Garden Island

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